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Parts and issues June 14, 2009

Posted by jamesisaac in Uncategorized.

A month in, and the parts are starting to show up.

Received so far:

  • 2 Cisco 2800 routers, one for main office, one for DC.
  • 1 Data Domain DD510 disk appliance, for use as a backup-to-disk target.
  • 4 Netgear switches, 2 7224R 24-port and 2 7248R 48-port.
  • Belkin KVM with ip
  • Box o’ ethernet cables. Unfortunately my color requests didn’t get through purchasing so I have a box of 7 foot grey cables.

Issues identified to far:

  1. Installing the Cisco switches between the main office and the DC means re-addressing the ip space already in use at the DC. So far I’ve provisioned several devices at the DC (including our firewall) using our main office ip space and just bridging across the fiber. This will become unusable as we move more servers over and eventually move our voice lines, as I won’t be able to set QoS across the bridge. So I’m going to have to bite the bullet and actually route traffic to the DC. I should have done this from the beginning but didn’t have the routers until now.
  2. The Data Domain DD510 is a nice box, but I have two problems with it already – not it’s fault, just the architecture. First, I want to backup-to-disk using Veritas BackupExec. That’s fine, BE supports backup-to-disk folders. The problem is that I have servers in two domains. BE doesn’t provide any method of authentication the backup-to-disk folders. So if I put the DD510 in one domain, then I can’t backup from the BE instance in the other domain. Sux0rs. I think I will have to reach across from one domain to the other with a single instance of BE so I can write to the DD510. Second problem is that all of this traffic may put too high a load on the network. I think I may get another Netgear switch just for the backup network and dedicate a NIC on each server and VMWare host for the backup network.
  3. The Netgear switches were an interesting exercise in configuration. They’re clearly trying to look like Cisco IOS, but not quite exactly the same – probably due to legal reasons. If all you are doing is plugging things in – they work great with no configuration hassles. But for configuring VLANs, it’s a whole different ball of wax. I had an “a-ha!” moment when I figured out how they do VLAN trunks – essentially all traffic is tagged on the trunk port (i.e., your uplink port) and then the other ports are members of your vlan but not tagged. That means they will get traffic from the desired vlan and not have to deal with tagging and untagging the frames on the server. It makes sense once you see what Netgear is doing.
  4. Potential future issue: the vSphere licensing is coming, but I have now found out that the SAN software is not yet vSphere (4.0) certified. We’re using Open-E DSS version 5, which is certified for ESX 3.5. Supposedly DSS version 6 will be vSphere-compatible, but it’s in beta. I also believe there will be a charge to upgrade from 5 to 6. Shoulda waited another two months and just bought version 6 – but then we’d be two months behind. It will probably be released by the time we’re done testing, and then we’ll get to test how the production SAN deals with a software upgrade. That should be fun.


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